ORLANDO, Fla. – Keith Mitchell had 1.224 million reasons not to take exception to the local newspaper’s headline Monday morning declaring him the “No-Name Champion” of the Honda Classic.
And besides, he’s been accumulating slights like these over the years; he says it’s what helped propel him to his breakthrough victory.
“It was definitely a part of me winning,” he said Tuesday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. “I just used it as a potential to keep playing well to hopefully, one day, my name might be on the headline and it will be familiar.”
Though he said he didn’t “take any negative light” about the headline – for which the Palm Beach Post later apologized and said was in poor taste – Mitchell’s friends, family and peers were more upset.
“The context that it was written, it sounds like it was in good light,” he said, “and that’s all that matters. I’ve probably said things a hundred times that came off the wrong way. That part of this story is an important part because that helped me play well on the weekend.”
So if not the doubters, what’s going to fuel Mitchell now that he’s won on Tour?
“The best thing about winning was the feeling from the time that putt went in the hole until the time I got it out of the hole – that 15, 20 seconds is the feeling that every single player on the PGA Tour is out here for,” he said. “I’m going to keep going back for that feeling.”